College students Andy Shaeffer and Susan Daniels are pinned. While Susan works hard to put herself through college, Andy sponges off his parents, his mother, Madeline Shaeffer, who in ... See full summary »
Henry J. Tyroone leaves Texas where his oil wells are drying up and arrives in New York with a lot of oil money to play with in the stock market. He meets stock analyst Molly Thatcher, who ... See full summary »
Photographer Grif Henderson is assigned a photo shoot in Paris. He decides to take his wife, Jenny, and his hippie son, Davey, with him on the shoot. Everything gets mucked up when she ... See full summary »
Cash McCall is a young and slick business man who buys failing businesses and resells them. Grant Austen's Plastics is even more of a prize to Cash, for Cash is also making a bid for ... See full summary »
Quiet young Orfamay Quest from Kansas has hired private detective Philip Marlowe to find her brother. After two leads turn up with ice picks stuck in them, he discovers blackmail photos ... See full summary »
Army veterans, just mustered out of the service, are going to the one of the men's brothers ranch on their way West. Just as they arrive, Indians attack the ranch and kill the brother. The ... See full summary »
Richard L. Bare
Offbeat 1970 NY-set character study resembles its central character too closely and is therefore something of a cop-out.
This offbeat 1970 NY-set character study resembles its central character too closely and is therefore something of a cop-out. Jonathan (Jordan ANGEL, ANGEL DOWN WE GO Christopher) is a lazy Princeton graduate who earns what he describes as 'an easy living' driving a NY taxi 'Because I want to show the world the back of my neck'. Together with his frustrated virginal ex-army pal Winston (Robert Walden), he lives an aimless existence disinterestedly weaving his cab through the often traffic-clogged city streets, drifting through loveless and seemingly joyless no-strings sexual encounters and occasionally chasing pigeons before embarking on a tentative relationship with his new neighbour, college drop-out Jennifer (Jill O'Hara, in her only film appearance) who - in counterculture era drop-out fashion - is trying to find herself. But can Jonathan discover true happiness in his own backyard or is he destined to forever fly free like the pigeons he casts sidelong glances at and occasionally tries to kick? Although this ticks many of the early 70s cinema boxes (there are the obligatory party scenes, generation-gap themes, swishy kaftan-wearing homosexuals, casual sexual encounters, characters bonding during a rooftop pot-smoking session, grungy wintry locations, ghastly woozy love songs warbling away on the soundtrack, a self-loathing misanthropic anti-hero and even a somewhat out-of-place car chase), the sum of the parts don't ultimately add up to a particularly satisfying whole. This is due in no small part to its smug central character whose inner monologues tend to resemble a series of clichéd and generally unfunny observations (e.g. 'It's OK to be homely, lady, but you're abusing the privilege' - which is one of the better zingers on offer) and whose selfish behaviour is most likely inherited (he has a similarly solipsistic mother still pining for her late husband and a lecherous and unfeeling stepfather) but don't really give the film the emotional or dramatic heft of the same year's far superior FIVE EASY PIECES. However, there are a few residual pleasures in those grungy wintry Big Apple locations, a catchy electronic central theme and the window cracked open on a vanished era that may have mostly existed through the refracted lens of a movie camera rather than in actuality. And it's a real obscurity that seems to have virtually vanished following its original release in its longer-titled full-length form and subsequent re-release in the retitled and abridged (86 minutes) form as PIGEONS that I viewed thanks to its apparent one-off appearance on UK TV in the mid-90s. The current scarcity factor alone makes it a must for 'Cinema Obscura' buffs.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?